07.31.12

The Nu Yankee Stadium : A Peaceful Place To Catch Up On Reading Bob Raissman

Posted in Baseball, Mob Behavior, The Marketplace, Ugly New Stadiums at 6:14 pm by

(perhaps this is part of the problem.  image culled from River Ave. Blues)

If the vibe at the new Yankee Stadium is somewhat akin to a night spent gawking at Las Vegas’ Forum Shops, it’s hardly hurt the Bombers’ performances on the field.  As the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman points out, the Yankees have slugged 89 HR’s at the venue he kiddingly calls “The Library”, with no apologies to Arsenal’s old Highbury Stadium.  However, along with suggesting criticism from ESPN’s Dan Shulman and Terry Francona might come to bear on future negotiations for Yankee radio rights (WCBS’ contract expires after this season), Raissman suggests disses of the Steinbrenner Family’s Glittering Monument To Avarice & Greed “might spark a debate over whether the Yankees actually have a home-field advantage”. Or at the very least, enough of a home field advantage. (h/t – Repoz, Baseball Think Factory)

“A big but somewhat quiet crowd at Yankee Stadium,” Shulman said. He was actually being kind.
Francona: “This ballpark is beautiful, don’t get me wrong. But it just doesn’t seem like it has the atmosphere of the old one.”

Shulman said the ambience in the new Stadium was “different.” Orel Hershiser agreed with his partners. Francona called the old Stadium “electric” before getting more specific.

“As a visiting team, especially for the Red Sox, by the time the (national) anthem was over, you couldn’t wait to get back in the dugout,” Francona said. “Now (there is) a little different (kind) of fan sitting around down there by the dugout.”

Was Francona suggesting a fan fortunate enough to pay $2,000 per seat in front of the “moat” isn’t as passionate or loud as those who sat in “cheaper” box seats in the old joint? Do the $2,000 patrons have a collective case of lockjaw? Or are they too cool to root — loudly?

From the handful of games I’ve attended each season since the Nu Stadium’s 2009 opening, “big but somewhat quiet” is not an entirely inaccurate description, though it surely varies from game to game.  Were the Red Sox actually within striking distance of first place this season, it’s reasonable to expect the paying customers would’ve been exercising their right to free expression with more gusto.   Is the average fan who pays $2K for moat seats likely to keep a somewhat lower profile than Freddy Sez?  Probably, but keep in mind, even when Terry Francona was cowering in the visitor’s dugout at the Old Stadium, the Bronx’s priciest box seats were hardly within the entertainment budget of the borough’s average resident.  If you wanna call the Nu Stadium a playpen for the uber-wealthy and jaded, fair enough, but things were headed in that direction long before ground was broken on the new ballpark’s construction.

Of course, over in Queens, Mets fans need not worry about national broadcasters describing their crowds as “big yet quiet”.  As they’re not really that big.

Not Quite CSTB’s Greatest Hits : Duaner Sanchez’ Wild Ride, Chris Russo’s Wild Accusations

Posted in Baseball, Sports Radio at 1:11 pm by

(EDITOR’s NOTE : Today marks the 6th anniversary of Mets reliever Duaner Sanchez’ 2006 season coming to an early close after a Miami car accident.  In this post from August 2, 2006, we recall Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, then employed by NYC’s WFAN, suggesting Sanchez had more on his mind than rabo encendido).

One heck of a performance by WFAN’s Chris Russo this afternoon. Not only has the Mad Dog wondered about Duaner Sanchez’ “poor judgement” in ending up in a taxi wreck late Sunday night, but Astoria’s biggest (only?) SF Giants fan has pointed out “we don’t even know for sure he was looking for a Dominican restaurant.”

“Dominican restaurant”, is after all, Russo code for crack den, strip club, Omar’s Copacabana Where Talented White Men Are Given Their Walking Papers, etc.

Russo’s listeners, thankfully, aren’t buying such innuendo. “What about Tom Glavine?” (another cab crash casualty) asked one reasonable soul.

“TOM GLAVINE WAS TRYING TO GET HOME TO HIS FAMILY!!” screamed Russo. “HE WASN’T OUT AT THREE IN THE MORNING!”

It clearly isn’t enough that Sanchez has suffered a serious injury during his breakout season. The reliever can now recover while hearing the drivetime host of The Mets’ flagship station trash his reputation.

Coming on  a future edition of the Mike Francesca’s On Vacation Show :

“Lyman Bostock : Victim Or Just Asking For It?”

NBC’s Ties To Twitter : Watch What You Tweet About Al Roker

Posted in Free Expression, olympics, Sports Journalism, Sports TV, twitter twatter at 11:50 am by

““The man responsible for NBC pretending the Olympics haven’t started yet is Gary Zenkel,” read the offending tweet from The Independent’s Guy Adams. “Tell him what u think!” Apparently, the naming and shaming of a television industry professional falls outside of Twitter’s standards and practices, as Adams finds himself banned from the service today. Either Twitter has picked a particularly convenient moment to exercise such censorship (the beneficiary in this case being a media partner) or Zenkel — much like Sirius/XM’s ethically challenged Dino Costa — believes he’s above public criticism. Slate’s Will Oremus wonders, “why can’t the public realize that any technical glitches are their own fault, and that it’s wrong to hold the network’s personnel accountable?”

Not long after, Adams’ Twitter account was suspended and his tweets disappeared. The social media site informed Adams that he had violated the site’s policy against “posting an individual’s private information.” And what might have prompted Twitter to enforce this heretofore-little-known policy? Well, an NBC Sports spokesperson acknowledged that the network filed a complaint with Twitter, but added, “Twitter alone levies discipline.”

Given that Twitter has partnered with NBC to offer an official Olympics page, my first thought would be that the network might have exercised some corporate leverage here. But that’s probably just because the situation is too complex for me to understand.

07.30.12

Canseco On The Aurora Massacre (Or, “Why Should John Rocker Get To Write All The Bullshit Editorials? “)

Posted in Baseball, Firearms, non-sporting journalism at 11:45 pm by

In a world in which Diamond Dallas Page is a yoga instructor, Andrew W.K. produces television programming for children and the director of “Trainspotting” directs the Summer Olympics Opening Ceremonies, is it really so weird that Vice has commissioned former big leaguer Jose Canseco to pen a weekly column?  If you were expecting the avowed PED user to weigh in with an apology to Grass Widow, you might be disappointed with Jose’s less-than-trenchant analysis of this month’s tragic events in Aurora, CO (“ I think you have to send a message to the criminals: ‘No no no no no, you think you’ve got a gun? I’ve got a bigger gun. I’ve got two guns on you.’ It’s simple psychology, really.”)

The problem with trying to restrict psychopaths’ access to guns is: How do you know what a person qualified to own a firearm intends to do with it? Obviously, something was wrong with the guy who shot all of those innocent people in that movie theater in Aurora. I’m sure it was some psychological issue or depression or drugs—we really won’t know unless they do some blood work on him.

It appeared as though he was convinced that he was doing some kind of military black ops or something: the way he was dressed, the way he went about it, the way he used the whole environment, bought a ticket, went out, came back in the exit… Everything was planned out. The only thing he didn’t plan was his escape. I think he wanted to die. That’s why I truly believe that if the people inside the theater were armed, they could have taken this guy down. There’s no doubt in my mind, that if one person had a gun they could have stopped him.

If you misuse a weapon and kill innocent people, you should be executed. And if it were up to me, I would fry the Aurora shooter, big-time. I’d do it like old times; I’d make it a spectacle and try him in public. Hang him, electrocute him, whatever. Maybe make it a Pay-Per-View special and send the proceeds to the families of the victims and maybe offset some of the costs of keeping him on death row and operating whatever death machine you strap him to. If I were president, that’s exactly what I’d do. No doubt in my mind. Financially, it’s a great deal.

MLB Ass-Grabbery Makes The Wonder Dog Wanna Puke

Posted in Baseball, Sports TV at 6:04 pm by

Fox Sport’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports Kansas City skipper Ned Yost recently ordered his players to put the kibbosh on friendly chit-chat with members of the opposition while on the basepaths.  If you’re surprised to learn this is the biggest concern facing the last place Royals, perhaps your mind will be equal blown upon discovering Yost’s edict was provoked by complaints from the club’s Fox Sports mouthpieces, Ryan Lefebvre and Rex Hudler.

Lefebvre reiterated his pet peeve again last Monday night after Angels designated hitter Kendrys Morales delivered a three-run single in the eighth inning to seal a 6-3 win over the Royals. Moments later, Morales advanced to second, where Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar and second baseman Yuni Betancourt suddenly began smiling and exchanging in conversation with him.

That sight prompted Lefebvre to say: “I don’t want to get on my soapbox again, but if I’m a pitcher, I think it would really burn me to see my middle infielders laughing and joking with a guy who just hit a three-run double off me as he stands on second base. I don’t get it.

“And I’m not saying the Royals are the only team that does it. You see it a lot more these days. If I’m a pitcher, I wouldn’t want to see my guys doing it. I mean, what could be so urgent that you’d have to talk to the guy on the other team who just hit a potentially game-winning hit?

Hudler then chimed in, “You’re not old. Age has nothing to do with it. It’s something I see as well. But it’s a culture that’s not going to change unless some of the veteran guys see to it. Or management says something about it.”

Hudler commented on Kansas City radio station WHB: “You can stand 10 feet away from a player and smooth out the dirt and still talk to a player without giving the appearance that you’re in his back pocket. When you’re in uniform out there, respect the game of baseball and respect your teammates. And stay out of the back pockets of opponents when people are watching. It makes me want to vomit.”

Morganella Brings Shame To Switzerland, DeNiro’s Taxi Driver Mohawk (not necessarily in that order)

Posted in Football, olympics, Racism Corner at 12:09 pm by

(image culled from 101 Great Goals)

Tweeting thoroughly racist, hateful garbage is a somewhat protected tradition in some parts of the world.  For instance, if you’re a weekday evening sports radio host on Sirius/XM’s Mad Dog Radio, not only is that kind of that condoned, but your employer might even encourage you to protect your tweets so you’re never held accountable.  Conversely, the Swiss Olympic Committee must not give a darn about unfettered free expression, as they seem loathe to rise to the defense of right back Michel Morganella, who punctuated a 2-1 loss to South Korea yesterday by calling his opponents, “mentally handicapped retards”.

07.29.12

Is That An Enfield L851A, Or Are You Just Happy To See Kobe Bryant?

Posted in olympics at 9:30 pm by

How many times the past 4 baseball seasons have you watched a Mets home game on SNY and seen acres of empty seats, many of ‘em in Citi Field’s priciest sections? If you’re Mets Executive Vice President Of Lying David Howard, you might do well to consider the c0smetic approach employed by London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games chief Lord Sebastian Coe, who sought military assistance to deal with the embarrassing spectacle.

More than 50 soldiers took seats at the North Greenwich Arena on Sunday morning when they were left empty by the “Olympic family”. Some of the troops, working at the Olympics to provide security, said they were scheduled to start shifts but instead were offered courtside seats at the basketball arena to watch the USA v France.

Despite featuring superstars including Kobe Bryant and being close to a sellout with the public, there were around 40 empty seats in the arena reserved for Olympic and sporting officials. “We’re seat fillers,” said one of 15 soldiers drafted on Sunday afternoon. “They asked who likes basketball and we put our hands up.”

The London organising committee (Locog) refused to rule out offering seats to G4S staff if the problem persists. The action came after the culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said on Saturday the empty seats were “very disappointing” and Locog launched an investigation. Organisers indicated international sporting federations are the main cause of the problem in the accredited areas, and the International Olympic Committee has told them to deal with the issue.

Pictures of athletes competing against banks of empty seats were beamed around the world on the first day of competition but Lord Coe, the Locog chairman, was initially dismissive of the problem, saying on Sunday: “Those venues are stuffed to the gunnels.”

He denied that having troops fill seats appeared shambolic. “If we have the army sitting there on rest periods we can ask them if they want to sit in there and watch it,” he said. “We take it seriously. I don’t want to see swathes of those seats empty.”

SF Scribe Tells Melky, “Sorry For Fingering You”

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism, twitter twatter at 12:49 pm by

What would possess CSNBayArea.com’s Andrew Baggerly to publicly float a rumor (via Twitter, natch) that Giants OF Melky Cabrera had recently flunked a drug test?  “We live in a different media universe and the rules are changing every day,” writes Baggerly in offering an explanation rather than an excuse.  At least that’s what I’d hope, as it that would be a pretty lame excuse.

If I were Melky Cabrera, would I appreciate a reporter who knocked down a rumor that was just a whisper in some corners of the Internet? Or would I be royally pissed to see my name mentioned alongside PEDs, no matter the context, by a credentialed, professional journalist?

It’s obvious, isn’t it? Well, it should have been obvious to me. It wasn’t.

In retrospect, I made the wrong decision to address these rumors on my Twitter account and disseminate it to my 30,000-plus followers.

So I feel it’s important that I issue a public apology to Melky Cabrera for giving greater voice to a rumor that, to the best of my knowledge and on his word, has absolutely no basis in fact.

I can only hope that he, and the rest of the Giants clubhouse, coaches and front-office personnel, at least understand that my motivations were not nefarious or self-oriented in any way. I wasn’t looking to create a story. I was trying to squash one that has no basis in fact

07.28.12

“High & Outside” : David Yow’s Star Turn In A Film Loosely Based On A Certain Ex-Jays Manager

Posted in Baseball, Cinema, Rock Und Roll at 7:05 pm by

Jesus Lizard / Scratch Acid vocalist David Yow describes himself as “ambivalent” towards baseball, so he brings relatively little bagger to his role in the upcoming “High & Outside”. If the story below, as told to Vice’s Sam Reiss, rings familiar, that’s because the film’s inspiration, Tim Johnson, was one of the more notorious resume-polishers this side of Dino Costa George O’Leary.

So there’s a Kickstarter, and it’s a baseball movie, right?
Yeah. Evald Johnson, the fella who came up with the idea and directed it, his father was–is–a guy named Tim Johnson, and he was something of a baseball player, and after he played, he was managing teams and stuff and there was some controversy at some point with Tim, and honestly, I don’t even know what that is, I’m sure I could find out but nonetheless, it’s not autobiographical but uh…

It draws on it? On his baseball experiences.
Yeah, completely, and just the way baseball players deal with each other, their relationships with women and stuff like that, you know.

Is it mostly on the baseball field? It seems like most of the trailer was his dad and your character, who works in a nursing home?
Well, to answer the first part of that, I don’t think most of it is on the baseball field. At first it seemed to me the occupation that it centers around–baseball–was almost secondary, like if he had been some executive or something like that. But now, since some time has gone by and I’ve learned more stuff, it is important that it’s baseball. But it’s not a sports movie.

It’s more of a noir…
Yeah, and one of the things that Evald has pointed out, was that very often baseball women, like baseball groupies, or girlfriends, or wives, it seems that they take the beating. Not a physical beating, but they just take a lot of shit and continue to come back. Sort of like groupies, in a way.

Derek Erdman’s Salute To Stadiums Hardly Anyone Misses

Posted in Baseball, Modern Art at 6:32 pm by

I probably shouldn’t hold my breath waiting for Derek Erdman to pay homage to Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, Minneapolis’ Metrodome or St. Petersberg’s Tropicana Field (particularly as the latter two are still in use).

Gang Green’s Most Devoted Fans Remain Resistant To The Charms Of The 24 Year-Old Virgin

Posted in Gridiron at 12:39 pm by

(CNYCentral.com’s Tom Eschen, showing all the investigative journalist chops of a young, slightly less frosted Chris Cotter)

ESPNNY’s Rich Cimini reports fans who attended Jets workouts in Courtland, NY yesterday peppered QB Tim Tebow with taunts including, but not limited to “that’s why you’re a #2″ (“presumably, the fan meant Tebow’s place on the depth chart”). A slightly more diplomatic assessment from the Newark Star-Ledger’s Jenny Vrentas suggests patience with Tebow’s unique skill-set might already be in short supply.

Tebow received a mixed welcome from the assembled fans. It started during a deep-ball passing drill, when a few wobbly or off-the-mark passes were met with groans from a handful of fans. On the flip side, he and quarterback Mark Sanchez also received cheers for successful throws.

Later, during the 11-on-11 team period, Tebow received a few more jeers. On one play when he held onto the ball for too long, a couple fans called for him to “Throw it, Tebow!” Later, on a shaky incompletion, they called out, “Tebow, come on!” and “That’s a Tebow ball!”

Tight end Dustin Keller didn’t hear the fans, but chalked it up to being a New York team.
“You can hear anything from fans,” he said.

07.27.12

The Olympics’ Greatest Hits

Posted in decomposing composers, Gymnastics, History's Great Hook-Ups, olympics, record collector disease at 5:37 pm by

The date is Friday, July 27, 2012. The time? 3:50 pm, EST. So, by my watch, the Games of the XXX Olympiad will open in about 10 minutes. I, for one, will not be watching. No, so long as this playlist takes on water, I’ll be watching something—anything—else. (The Orioles on MASN, HD maybe?) Duran or no Duran, whatever Danny Boyle decides there in Hype Park, here’s hoping I hear about one of these tomorrow morning:

“Barcelona”
Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé

Britain’s best Tanzanian rocker always had a penchant for drama and spectacle. So it made all kinds of sense for him to team up with the Barcelona-born Caballé for what was supposed to be the ’92 Summer Olympics theme. Unbeknownst to most, Mercury had contracted AIDS, and only a few hours after telling the world, he was dead at 45. And while Caballé did perform the sweeping, now bittersweet tune at the opening ceremony (with a terribly canned Mercury dubbed in, no less), it was officially replaced with some overwrought Andrew Lloyd Webber barf by Sarah Brightman and José Carreras for the closing of the games. The BBC, though, would have none of this disrespect and latent homophobia; they used Merc & Monty’s number throughout its coverage that summer.

Hymnen (Region III)
Karlheinz Stockhausen

A hallmark of electronic music—and perhaps the high-water mark of the late composer’s purely electro oeuvre—Hymnen takes as its main source material some 40 of the world’s national anthems and manipulates, maneuvers and massages them into one, two-hour “music of all countries and races.” A utopian conceit à la Milton, Hesse or James Hilton, Stockhausen divided his vision into four sections or regions, and according to his admittedly idiosyncratic directions, only “Region III” may be listened to separately. Dedicated to American iconoclast John Cage, “The Star Spangled Banner” is thus featured prominently here alongside Spain’s lyric-less “La Marcha Real,” as well as an entirely synthetic construction of the then USSR’s state hymn.

“Nadia’s Theme”
Barry De Vorzon and Perry Botkin, Jr.

Okay, stay with me here: Barry and Perry were nominated for a ’71 Grammy with a score that featured the tune “Cotton’s Dream” from Stanley Kramer’s film of Glendon Swarthout’s novel, Bless the Beasts and Children. (The Carpenters got nominated for an Oscar for the theme song proper.) Two years later, Botkin recast his and De Vorzon’s melody for a brand new half-hour CBS soap opera—a little show called The Young and The Restless. Three years later still, the 1976 Montreal Olympics are in full swing, and a 14-year-old Romanian by the name of Nadia Comaneci becomes the first gymnast to ever score a perfect 10. ABC’s Wild World of Sports begins airing montages of the lithe and nimble lil’ Commie accompanied by Botkin’s rehashing. A&M Records renames and re-releases the song as a single, fails to credit De Vorzon and is sued by him for nearly a quarter-of-a-million bicentennial dollars. A decade later, David Hasselhoff nearly kills the ditty on his album Lovin’ Feelings, while Mary J. Blige finishes the job in 2002.

The Greatest Boston Crime Mystery Since The Night They Raided Buzzy’s

Posted in Baseball, The Law, When Mascots Are Attacked at 5:33 pm by

A Boston police spokesperson tells the Boston Herald’s Renee Nadeau that a Red Sox employee was the culprit that stole Wally The Green Monster’s costume earlier today. Of course, please keep in mind the local fuzz haven’t always identified the correct perp.

Police spent part of the afternoon today pursuing Wally the Green Monster around the Hub after receiving a report that the beloved Red Sox mascot had been carried off by a brazen thief today.

The employee took the costume with good intentions, said Zineb Curran, a spokeswoman for the Red Sox. The worker was scheduled to play Wally this weekend and decided to “spread some Red Sox Nation good cheer,” said Curran.

“Wally is safe and sound, it was all a big misunderstanding,” Curran said.

A call came in for a larceny in progress at 2:22 p.m. from an address at the corner of Boylston and Dartmouth streets.

The Red Sox confirmed the costume was missing and police searched the MBTA for Wally. A police helicopter also joined the search as the hunt continued throughout the Hub for Wally.

Though the suspect has not been identified, you don’t have to be Det. Robert Goren to know there’s already someone in Boston’s employ with a habit of donning disguises.

07.26.12

Tim Thomas Continues Auditioning For Mad Dog Radio’s Weekday Evening Slot

Posted in Food, Hockey, social crusaders at 9:39 pm by

If you’ve ever wondered how difficult it might to wear a tin foil hat atop a goalie mask, it seems you can win a Conn Smythe Trophy while donning both. Bruins netminder Tim Thomas (above), in the midst of a hockey sabbatical, has weighed in on Chick-Fil-A’s public opposition to gay marriage via Facebook. As you’ve probably already guessed, Thomas is one of those guys who believes God made Adam and Eve, not Adam Oates and Steve Yzerman.

I stand with Chick-fil-A.

Chick-fil-A is privately owned by the Cathy family. The company president, Dan Cathy, drew the wrath of gay rights advocates and supporters when he made recent statements that some have alleged are anti-gay.

Cathy told Baptist Press that the company was unapologetically in favor of traditional marriage.

“Guilty as charged,” he said. “We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”

In a separate interview on the Ken Coleman Show — Cathy suggested that the nation could face God’s wrath over the redefinition of marriage.

“I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,’” Cathy said. “I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we would have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is all about.”

Giants’ Bennett On Dallas : “We’re Cool, But We Ain’t That Cool”

Posted in Gridiron at 5:16 pm by

“I kind of sound like Gandhi right now,” newly acquired Giants TE Martellus Bennett told the assembled press corps in Albany today, “but I studied myself a lot over the last couple of years.” And surely Gandhi would express similar emotions concerning the shy, retiring Marty B’s former club if anyone bothered to ask him, right? From Newsday’s Tom Rock :

“I just want to kick those guys’ [butts],” Bennett said of the Cowboys, who open the regular season against the Giants on Sept. 5. “That is what it is all about. I mean, we’re cool but we ain’t that cool, know what I am saying? I kind of got some ill feelings towards them overall. It is a game. I kind of hate everybody, honestly, in the NFL.”

Bennett’s four years in Dallas were spent as an understudy to Jason Witten at tight end. He said he feels like a rookie coming to the Giants where he expects to get his first chance to play as a regular.

“Who’s better to learn behind than Witten?” Bennett said. “He is one of the best to ever do it. I learned a lot from him. Every once in a while, plants can’t really grow when they are out-shaded by the tall tree. So I get a little sunlight for myself now.”

Reinsdorf’s Contraction Hopes : As Plausible As Pierzynski Winning A Nobel Peace Prize

Posted in Baseball, The Marketplace at 12:24 pm by

What, not probable enough for you?  How about Michael Jordan and Jerry Krause getting hitched?  White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf took questions at a luncheon raising funds for Israel’s World Baseball Classic hopes (ESPN Chicago reports former Cub Adam Greenberg — beaned in his only MLB plate appearance — has heroically volunteered), and when asked about baseball perhaps expanding internationally, replied thusly ;

“I don’t see any baseball expansion right now,” he said. “If it were up to me, I would contract two teams. But I certainly don’t think expansion on the horizon.”

When fans yelled, “What two teams?” Reinsdorf clammed up.

“I have a habit of getting myself into trouble,” he said. “I just did yesterday. So I’m not going to (get in trouble).”

Hardball Talk’s Craig Calcaterra, mindful this isn’t the first time Reinsdorf has campaigned for eliminating other teams (if not competition in his own division), sneers that such fantasies are as likely as “a game going off tonight with a starting outfield consisting of the Easter Bunny, Roy Hobbs and a golem-player comprised of Raul Mondesi’s body and Ted Williams’ unfrozen, reattached head.”  And I thought the Jordan/Krause wedding idea was kind of scary!

Owners of any teams that were contracted would have to be bought out.  In a world where franchise values are at, a minimum, $500 million, contracting two teams — which you would have to do to keep a sane schedule — would cost in the billions, simply to make the contracted owners give up their property.  That’s before you figure in all of the contracts that would have to be bought out and torn up between the team and its business partners, sponsors and media affiliates and the subsequent litigation.

Then you get the political problems: you think local politicians, governors and members of Congress are gonna sit by while the local nine are contracted? There will be hearings and ugliness for months if not years if someone seriously attempted to contract a team. Yeah, baseball LOVES that, so they’d totally make that happen.

Oh, and the labor issues too. The union would consider it to be an assault on membership, because some 50 major league jobs would go bye-bye and the salaries for the remaining players would go down as more guys compete for fewer roster spots.

07.25.12

Dear Ink Stained Numbskulls : Bob Costas Sees Right Thru Your Manufactured Outrage

Posted in olympics, Sports Journalism, Sports TV at 10:30 pm by

If you Google the phrase, “plausibly live”, you’re not greeted with an image of a demonically drooling Phil Mushnick, but that’s of little consolation to NBC Sports’ diminutive bundle of self-importance eloquence, Bob Costas. Speaking to a conference call of sports media reporters 3 days prior to anchoring the Comcast / General Electric joint venture’s coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympics, Costas showed little patience for those critical of NBC’s penchant for replaying major events via tape delay during prime time. From the Salt Lake Tribune’s Scott D. Pierce :

“I understand … people’s demand for information immediately,” Costas said in a conference call with reporters. “I also understand that it’s a lot easier if you’re writing for newspaper X to say with righteous indignation, ‘This is some sort of outrage.’ And yet if that person swapped jobs that day with [NBC Sports executives], they would either do exactly the same thing, or they would be fired and then taken to a sanitarium.”

“The newspaper has not invested billions of dollars in rights fees and production fees,” he said. “And it’s a simple, straightforward business decision that now has been modified, I think, in an enlightened way to allow for the changes in the way people consume information.”

He’s still clearly ticked off about allegations that NBC misrepresented taped events as live — which he put down the occasional slip of the lip. Anything that makes it sound that way will be inadvertent because “in thousands of utterances, once or twice, accidentally, has the wrong tense been used.”

“We try to be very, very vigilant about that. We do not say, ‘Michael Phelps now goes to the line in pursuit of gold medal number 15.’ We say, ‘He went to the pool in pursuit of gold medal number 15.’ There is no attempt to deceive.”

Harper : Daniel Murphy Is Alderson’s Best Bargaining Chip

Posted in Baseball at 3:04 pm by

Wednesday’s 5-2 defeat at the hands of Washington’s overpowering Stephen Strasburg dropped was the Mets’ 12th loss in their last 13 games, a stretch typified by almost complete inaction on the part of GM Sandy Alderson, save for the demotion of Lucas Duda/promotion of Matt Harvey. If there was no sense of urgency on Alderson’s part prior to the All-Star break, there’s even less now that his club has disappeared from contention with alarming speed, but the New York Daily News’ John Harper argues the GM, “needs to get more creative this time around and make a deal in which he is essentially both a buyer and seller.” And with that in mind, Harper’s got IF Daniel Murphy’s bags packed and ready to go.

Major League sources say Murphy’s has been already out there in trade discussions. One source says the Mets have already rejected an offer from the Padres of reliever Luke Gregerson (above) for Murphy.

That alone is intriguing, considering that Gregerson, a 28-year-old righthander, seems to fit the bill as a solid reliever who could upgrade the Mets’ bullpen immediately and be under their contractual control for the next two seasons as well.

Going into Tuesday night’s action, Gregerson was 2-0 with a 3.12 ERA, and has had streaks in the last couple of seasons where he has been dominant. This season he had a few rough outings in May that ballooned his ERA to 4.57, but since May 30 he has allowed only four runs in 24 appearances.

In any case, the Gregerson offer is evidence that there is solid interest in Murphy, and as hot as the Mets’ second baseman has been lately, hitting .443 over his last 21 games before going 0-for-3 Tuesday night, his value right now is probably as high as it will get.

And while the Mets would miss Murphy’s bat, it’s hard to believe that Alderson sees him as the answer at second base.

Ryan Kalil Didn’t Get The Memo About Newspapers Being Obsolete

Posted in Gridiron at 2:47 pm by

Even Patrick Ewing thinks Kalil oughta cool it on the guarantees.

07.24.12

Miami’s Latest Fire Sale – A Great Argument Against Buying Marlins Season Tickets

Posted in Baseball at 8:35 pm by

The going-nowhere-fast Miami Marlins officially pulled the plug on their 2012 season yesterday in dealing P Anibel Sanchez and 2B Omar Infante to Detroit in exchange for P Jacob Turner and a pair of prospects.  While a particularly dimwitted evening host on Mad Dog Radio assured his dozens of listeners last night there was no cause for alarm in South Beach — that with their glittering new ballpark, it was just a matter of time before the locals finally embraced the Marlins — the far more knowledgeable Buster Olney didn’t hesitate to call the dumping of Sanchez and Infante the start of a clearance sale (“the Marlins are willing to deal Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson and anybody else not nailed to the floor…now can you understand why Pujols wanted a no-trade clause when the Marlins pursued him in free agency last winter?”).  Mindful that his own tenure might hang in the balance, manager Ozzie Guillen begged the handful of persons who still attend Marlins games to LEAVE JEFFREY LORIA ALONE! From the Palm Beach Post’s Joe Capozzi :

“We’ve been talking about this for the last three weeks. The front office was very optimistic — very optimistic bout this ballclub and we don’t show them any side to be more optimistic. The trade? I don’t know how to say it in English, but I’ve never felt this bad about a trade in my career as a manager, but I think I did because I wanted those guys to play for me as long as they could. It was embarrassing for me that we had to make a move, that kind of move because we played very bad.

“Miami, I know they’re used to blaming the front office. I was here before and they’ve done some stuff here that a lot of people thought they shouldn’t do that, when they went and broke up the team. I think if there’s anybody out there that wants to blame somebody, blame the people wearing this uniform, don’t blame the people who wear ties and sport coats. Nope. They do a great job.

“They did everything they could to keep this team together. They spent a lot of money, a lot of time, we add a player. If there’s anybody that has to be blamed, I take the blame and anybody besides me, the players have to take the blame.

Ricky Williams & Access Consciousness : Compared To This, Marrying Dikta Seems Downright Sensible

Posted in Gridiron, Leave No Child Unbeaten at 1:36 pm by

While RB Ricky Williams’ NFL reputation remains mixed (to put it politely), the Heisman Trophy winner (above, left)  is still revered around CSTB’s neck of the woods, Austin, TX. So imagine the dismay of the Austin Chronicle’s Alex Dunlap, who admittedly set out to compose “a fluff piece about one of my all-time favorite football players” and his charitable foundation, and instead learned that Williams’ fund-raising efforts are now tied to Access Consciousness, and that group’s controversial leader/faith healer, Gary Douglas.

Some call Access a movement, some call it a cult. In performing a simple Internet search, it is not hard to find scathing remarks regarding their methodologies, some from individuals claiming real-life experience within the culture. Their teachings are based in freedom from judgment in our conscious experiences. This idea manifests itself in many ways, including emphasis on sexual freedom.

Williams is now a devout accessory of the Access movement, and the mission of his Ricky Williams Foundation has transformed into an outlet for delivering the controversial teachings of Access Consciousness to the underprivileged children who attend their camps. This is currently taking place, in Austin, on AISD property.

Douglas is a significant investor and is bankrolling a large sum of costs by live streaming the event to devout accessories all over the globe for quite a pretty penny. (Replays of certain live streams can sell for upward of $1,200.) Williams was the camp’s instructor last week for Level I of the course. “Advanced” levels II and III will be delivered to these children by the person who accessories all over the world call their “fearless leader,” Gary Douglas himself.

07.23.12

Emmert’s PSU Sanctions : A Unprecedented Power Grab

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron, Leave No Child Unbeaten at 5:21 pm by

NCAA President Mark Emmert (above, right) lowered the boom on Penn State earlier today, slapping the institution that effectively enabled the predatory Jerry Sandusky with penalties so severe, PSU might well have preferred a one year suspension of the football program. I’m not entirely sure how pressing the history eraser button on Joe Paterno’s last 13 years of coaching serves the purpose of helping children in peril, but that’s a minor consideration compared to the lack of due process from a governing body that’s picked a rather convenient (some will say appropriate) moment in history to warn of football taking precedence over anything and everything.

The Nation’s Dave Zirin — mindful that PSU trustees and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett have yet to have their feet held to the fire — calls Emmert’s laundry list of punishments, ” a farcical public relations move that distracts the public from actually holding to account those responsible for protecting Sandusky… nothing less than an extra-legal, extrajudicial imposition into the affairs of a publicly funded campus.”

Take a step back from the hysteria and just think about what took place: Penn State committed no violations of any NCAA bylaws. There were no secret payments to “student-athletes,” no cheating on tests, no improper phone calls, no using cream cheese instead of butter on a recruit’s bagel, or any of the Byzantine minutiae that fills the time-sheets that justify Mark Emmert’s $1.6 million salary.


What Penn State did was commit horrific violations of criminal and civil laws, and it should pay every possible price for shielding Sandusky, the child rapist. This is why we have a society with civil and criminal courts. Instead, we have Mark Emmert inserting himself in a criminal matter and acting as judge, jury and executioner, in the style of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. As much as I can’t stand Goodell’s authoritarian, undemocratic methods, the NFL is a private corporation and his method of punishment was collectively bargained with the NFL Players Association. Emmert, heading up the so-called nonprofit NCAA, is intervening with his own personal judgment and cutting the budget of a public university. He has no right, and every school under the auspices of the NCAA should be terrified that he believes he does.

Minihane : It’s Time For Boston To Cut Their Losses On Lester & Beckett

Posted in Baseball at 4:47 pm by

Watching Jon Lester suck up a storm against Toronto yesterday wasn’t without a silver lining. For starters, it kept my mind off the problems at the top of the Mets rotation. Considering the brutal underachievement of Lester and teammate / beer & KFC buddy Josh Beckett, WEEI.com’s Kirk Minihane wonder if it’s too much to expect the duo to perform as capably as say, “Aaron Cook and Franklin Morales” (“forget aces — there is no one left on the planet who thinks either one of these guys can pass for that”).

I’ve been against trading Lester all season, if only because it doesn’t make a lot of sense to deal a player when his value is at its lowest. Forty, 50 cents on the Lester dollar just to get him out of town seemed overly reactionary a month ago, or even a week ago. But for the first time I understood — if not quite agreed with — the idea that this might be unsalvageable after watching Lester take a beating on Sunday. I hate reading into body language — was Lester supposed to be thrilled while giving up 11 runs? — but this looked an awful lot like a guy who had given up. I don’t know how else to explain what we saw on Sunday and what we’ve seen this year. Can it really just be mechanics, can it really just be that Lester is right and all the umpires have decided to get together and screw him? I’ve kept an open mind for as long as I can, and now it’s at least fair to wonder if Jon Lester simply doesn’t want to be in Boston anymore.

If that’s the case, he’s got to go. Same with Beckett — if the Red Sox believe that these two have crossed the point of no return as players and people, it’s a no-brainer. But what scares you about this organization — and whoever is running it — is that they don’t have the guts to make a move that would signal surrender, that would punt the 2012 season away, because they think it would look bad. The reality is 48-48, 78-83 and last place on July 23 looks a lot worse.

Political Leanings Aside, Can We All Agree That Bill Murray Looks TERRIBLE?

Posted in Free Expression, politics at 3:00 pm by

video link, h/t Repoz.

07.22.12

Isola On Dolan’s Diss Of Lin

Posted in Basketball at 11:10 pm by

Given the Knicks’ difficulty the last several years in finding any sort of PG capable of distributing the ball, who’d have thought a mere $5.1 million difference would stand in the way of the club retaining a fan favorite like Jeremy Lin? The New York Daily News’ Frank Isola is fairly insistent (not for the first time, either) that Garden supremo James Dolan isn’t merely meddlesome in these matters, but the tri-state area’s lamest “blues” musician continues to “have his fingerprints all over” these moves.

Dolan’s basketball people make recommendations but ultimately it is Dolan who rules with an iron fist. Just ask Donnie Walsh, Mike D’Antoni and most recently, Jeremy Lin. Gone are the days when the executives at Madison Square Garden would go to great lengths to paint Dolan as a warm and cuddly hands-off owner. It was a smart way to shield Dolan from criticism when things went array even though the notion of Dolan not being involved in the day-to-day operations of the team is preposterous.

The fans aren’t blaming general manager Glen Grunwald, head coach Mike Woodson or even Dolan confidant Isiah Thomas for the ending Linsanity. The anger is being directed at Dolan, who was upset that Lin went back to the Rockets last to get the third year of his contract increased from $9.8 million to $14.9 million. The Garden’s unofficial response, leaked to their media friends, is that it was strictly a financial decision.

That certainly is a lot of money for a point guard with 25 career starts but we all know that Dolan wasn’t worried about the contract or the luxury tax. He felt betrayed and deceived and then made a decision based on emotion.